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IEEE Provides the Keys to a Smarter Home

December 21st, 2015 No comments

from: The Institute (IEEE)
By KATHY PRETZ 1 December 2015

Members are making it possible for all your appliances and devices to communicate with each other

That once-futuristic vision of a home full of smart gadgets that anticipate our needs, keep us healthy, and save us money is slowly taking shape. Thermostats now learn our preferred settings and schedule, lights turn on and off as we come and go, and refrigerators adjust their temperatures according to how much food they hold.

Such applications make the home a bit smarter, but they’re not really intelligent. That’s because most home-automation devices are loners: They don’t work with each other. They’re made by different manufacturers, and by the way, they lack privacy and security protection. IEEE is working with industry to build an architecture that provides connectivity; simultaneously, it is developing standards and addressing security concerns.

“The smart home is a great example of where many technology and business domains start interacting and leveraging the Internet of Things,” says IEEE Member Oleg Logvinov, chair of the IEEE P2413 Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things Working Group. “IoT probably represents the biggest tidal wave in technology development since the industrial revolution.”

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IEEE 2015 Gift Guide

December 19th, 2015 No comments

Yet another robotic gift guide for 2015, this one done by IEEE, can be found at IEEE Spectrum – 2015 Robot Gift Guide

In short, their list includes:

Drones

  • Starter Drone: Parrot AR Drone 2.0
  • Camera Drone: DJI Phantom 2 With Gimbal
  • Drone to Do Cool Stuff With: 3D Robotics DIY Quad Kit

Robot Toys and Kits

  • Robotis Mini
  • Robotis Play 600
  • Lego Mindstorms
  • Sphero SPRK
  • RobotGeek Snapper Arduino Robotic Arm
  • TurtleBot 2

Home Robotics

  • Beam+ Smart Presence System
  • Robomow RC306
  • iRobot Roomba 980
  • iRobot Roomba 560 (Refurbished)
  • Dyson 360 Eye
  • Ecovacs Deebot D77
  • iRobot Looj
  • 4Moms Origami Stroller
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Inexpensive, Durable Plastic Hands Let Robots Get a Grip

March 4th, 2015 No comments
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Aldebaran Pepper

March 4th, 2015 No comments
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ATLAS DRC Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely Unplugged

March 4th, 2015 No comments

From IEEE Specturm

We’ve always known that the ATLAS DRC humanoid robot was due for some serious upgrades before the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, because having a robot that’s tethered for power and safety is just not in the spirit of what the DRC is all about: moving towards robotic systems that can provide meaningful assistance during a real-world disaster scenario.

Back in November, we started hearing that DRC Track B teams were sending their ATLAS robots back to Google-owned Boston Dynamics for some tweaks, and today, DARPA has posted a video of the brand new ATLAS. And it really is almost entirely brand new.

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Robot News

March 4th, 2015 No comments

All the below is from IEEE Spectrum Feb 17, 2017

FAA Unveils Drone Rules: Autonomy Is In, Drone Delivery Is Out

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has recently announced the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for small unmanned aircraft systems, governing the operation of drones under 55 pounds (25 kilograms). Many observers had worried that the FAA would attempt to over-regulate, proposing requirements like airworthiness certificates for drones and pilot’s licenses for drone operators and other restrictions that would make it a lot harder for businesses to use drones. But although there are some sticking points that will surely generate more debate, the proposed rules seem surprisingly reasonable.


Spot Is Boston Dynamics’ Nimble New Quadruped Robot

Boston Dynamics is infuriatingly cool. They have to be the only robotics company out there that can just post a YouTube video of an incredibly agile autonomous quadruped named “Spot” with a four sentence description, and that’s that—no info on their site, no press release, no interviews. Because they know that everybody is going to watch it and think it’s awesome anyway. Grr.

Link to article


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Spanish robot maker PAL Robotics, best known for their REEM humanoid robots, has just introduced a new mobile manipulator called Tiago (Take It And Go). Want to pick stuff up and move it around in a research environment? This could be the robot for you.

Link to article

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Watch “A Swarm of One Thousand Robots” on YouTube

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

A Swarm of One Thousand Robots:

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Five Famously Wrong Predictions About Technology – IEEE – The Institute

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

Five Famously Wrong Predictions About Technology
If these came true, there would be no home computers, tablets, or Internet
By KATHY PRETZ 19 December 2014
From: http://theinstitute.ieee.org/ieee-roundup/opinions/ieee-roundup/five-famously-wrong-predictions-about-technology

With the new year almost here, it’s that time when predictions about the future abound. I thought it would be fun to end 2014 by revisiting prognostications from the past that were, well, off the mark to put it kindly.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.

Ken OlsEn, president Digital Equipment, 1977.

Olson made this statement at the World Future Society meeting in Boston. While he admits he said it, he claims his statement was taken out of context.

While PC sales are dropping—technology research company Gartner forecasted a 6 percent drop from last year, more than 276 million PCs are expected to be shipped this year, 37 years after Olson’s prediction. About two-thirds of the sales are from computer owners who are updating their equipment. The remaining third are replacing their machines with tablets, which brings me to the next prediction, a recent one.

In five years, I don’t think there will be a reason to have a tablet anymore…tablets themselves are not a good business model.

Thorsten Heins, then Blackberry CEO, 2013.

Heins told this to Bloomberg but a month later he revised his comments by saying “We’re interested in the future of tablets, whatever that is.”

Tablets will be around a lot longer than Heins’s tenure at Blackberry: he lost his job in November 2013. About 235 million tablets are forecast to ship by the end of the year, according to the research firm IDC. But it forecasts year-over-year growth of the worldwide tablet market is slowing to just more than 7 percent, compared to 52.5 percent in 2013. That’s because those who have tablets are holding onto them longer, an average of three years. Unlike Heins’s prediction, many organizations have found a way to make tablets part of their business model. School districts are using them as teaching aids, restaurants are taking orders with them, and interior designers can show clients what their new furniture and curtains in a room will look like. What is giving tablets a run for their money might be what some call phablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Note, which combines the functionality of larger smartphones and tablets. But smartphones wouldn’t be around if the next prediction had come true.

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.

Steve Ballmer, Former Microsoft CEO, 2007.

In April of that year, Steve Ballmer told USA Today, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Ballmer cited the iPhone’s relatively high US $499 subsidized price as one of his reasons.

Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner’s quarterly handset sales tracker. Gartner expects Apple to have record fourth-quarter sales, with demand for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus outstripping supply. Sales of Samsung’s feature phones and smartphones declined in the third quarter of 2014, but it continues to lead in sales with more than 73.2 million units sold as of the third quarter, according to Gartner.

Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.

Martin Cooper, developer of the first handheld cellphone, 1981.

IEEE Life Fellow Martin Cooper, then director of research at Motorola, gave the Christian Science Monitor this reason why the portable phone wouldn’t replace the landline: “Even if you project it beyond our lifetimes, it won’t be cheap enough,” Cooper said. He did foresee how the device would let people become more mobile. “People don’t realize how tied they are to a single place,” he argued.

I swapped my landline for my cellphone nearly a decade ago. But I’m not the only one to cut the cord with landlines. More than a quarter of U.S. households have stopped using landline phones, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2013. Just 71 percent of households had landlines in 2011, down from a little more than 96 percent 16 years ago. Cellphone ownership reached 89 percent, up from about 36 percent in 1998, the first year the survey asked about the devices.

I predict the Internet in 1996 [will] catastrophically collapse.

Robert Metcalfe, coinventor of the Internet, 1995.

Metcalfe, one of the inventors of the Ethernet, told InfoWorld in 1995, “The Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” Metcalfe, who received the 1996 IEEE Medal of Honor, was discussing capacity and whether the infrastructure of the Internet would hold up under ever-increasing traffic. He ate his words—literally. In 1999, addressing the Sixth International WWW Conference, Metcalfe put a copy of his infamous column into a blender, pureed it, and drank it.

The predictions have come full circle since most of us use our computers, tablets, and smartphones to surf the Internet, causing traffic to grow at steep rates. According to a report prepared by Cisco Visual Networking Index, global Internet traffic has increased fivefold over the past five years, and will increase threefold over the next five years. Overall, Internet traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent from now to 2018. This whole Internet thing doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. And I think we are all happy this prediction never came true.

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Robot Kit Rundown

October 7th, 2014 No comments

From IEEE Spectrum

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A Thousand-Robot Swarm

August 19th, 2014 No comments

from IEEE Spectrum [click for full article]

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When Harvard researchers first introduced their Kilobot project in 2011, they had built only 25 of the little robots. Two years later, they announced that they had made 100 robots. Now the researchers say they have built one thousand Kilobots—possibly the most robots that have ever been operating in the same place at the same time. The Harvard team is now teaching the robots to behave like a swarm, organizing and controlling themselves based on a set of simple rules, much like in biological systems. Learn how each Kilobot works and watch a video of the swarm forming different shapes.

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